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The once seemingly illusive gravitational waves have finally been discovered and just for the record, Einstein was right.

Imagine two extremely massive objects, such as black holes, whirling around each other as their gravitational forces pull and yank at one another. These massive objects create ripples that stretch and compress. It would very loosely resemble placing two magnetized objects in a pool of water while spinning them continuously.

According to NPR, on Thursday, February 11th, scientists announced that gravitational waves, “wrinkles in the very fabric of space-time,” had been emitted by two massive colliding black holes.

“It’s profoundly satisfying that it came out the way that we intended, we’d hoped, we’d dreamed,” expressed Kip Thorne, a gravitational theorist at Caltech.

Einstein_laughingAlbert Einstein once revolutionized physics with his world famous theory of general relativity. This theory “reimagined the force of gravity as a warping of dimensions of space and time.” It’s a bit complicated, however, within that theory Einstein made a now visibly valid prediction, “very heavy objects such as black holes should produce ripples in spacetime itself.”

The research concerning gravitational waves had been a topic in the science community for what seems like ages, and now, more than a billion dollars in taxpayer funds and decades of hard work later, the long studied theory has evidence to back its legitimacy.

The movement toward detecting these waves had been initiated by researcher Joseph Weber in 1956. A group of MIT students had begun to take interest in the works of Weber and inquired about his research through their teacher, and researcher, Rainer Weiss. This curiosity led to the tinkering and ambition which has now resulted in one of the greatest discoveries in physics; however, it has not been a road without its bumps. In 2015, a group of researchers working on  the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP2) telescope claimed their data was the long awaited discovery of gravitational waves. Unfortunately, this discovery was later proven to have been intergalactic dust which was accidently mistaken for waves. The entire scientific community is holding their collective breath out of excitement as the world anticipates the discoveries to come from this revolutionary proof.

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